The government is preparing to extend the deadline for transport bodies (transport committees and associations) to transform themselves into the company model.
The government is supposed to scrap the registration of all transport bodies from July 17 onwards if they do not come under the ‘company model’. However, the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT) is all set to give transport bodies some more time to switch their businesses to the company model.
“A special committee that was formed to look after the issue regarding syndicate system in the transportation sector has suggested the government to extend the deadline for transport bodies to transform into company model by a few months,” informed a high-ranking government official seeking anonymity.
MoPIT is preparing to table a proposal to extend the deadline for transport bodies to register themselves under company model at the next Cabinet meeting, which is likely to sit on Monday.
Similarly, the government also seems to be in a mood to unfreeze the bank accounts of various transport bodies that were suspended on the charge that the transport bodies were backing the syndicate system in the public transportation industry.
Transport bodies have been pressurising the government to unfreeze their bank accounts citing that they were facing difficulties to pay their staffs since the last few months.
MoPIT officials informed that the committee’s report has also suggested the government to unfreeze bank accounts of transport bodies.
Earlier in June, the Ministry of Finance had directed Nepal Rastra Bank to freeze bank accounts of 245 transport bodies that were against the decision of the government to end the transport syndicate.
Meanwhile, the flexibility that the government is showing in bringing transport bodies under the company model hints towards the possible rise of the syndicate system in the transportation sector in the future. The plan to end syndicate in transport sector has been fizzling out after MoPIT leadership transferred Rupnarayan Bhattarai, erstwhile director general of DoTM — the prominent force who attempted to curb syndicate.
However, MoPIT officials said that transport bodies will be forced to transform into the company model within the next deadline, which is yet to be announced.
Bringing transport bodies under the company model aims at not only curbing transport syndicate but it could also help the government earn billions in revenue once the transport bodies are brought under the tax net.